From Chaos to Rationale: Building a Transport System Based in the Stakeholders Participation ? the Case of Andorra
M E Lopez Lambas, A Monzon, TRANSyT-UPM, ES
Andorra (Principality of Andorra in its conventionally long form) is a member of the EU Customs Union, located in South-western Europe, between France and Spain. Has an area of 467,8 km2 with a population of 69,865 (July 2004 est.). Its economic and demographic growth is based on leisure and sport activities (skiing mainly), and has a thriving economy with its lack of income taxes.
Its low population density (21,189/km2) and high economic level has set a transport system based mainly on private car, with only few bus lines completely deregulated, and on a regime of authorisations - 50 years old in some cases- quite easy to renew.
This system is causing an important decline on mobility conditions, on the one hand. So, in terms of congestion, access to the central valley takes more than 50 minutes for a trip of barely 8 km. On the other hand, its environmental quality and commercial vitality is becoming impoverished, despite the fact of being a key element of Andorra's well-to-do economy. Furthermore, transport legislation is almost inexistent, and public authorities have a very limited weight due to the out and out country's tradition of liberalism.
Trying to turn things over, a new public transport system has been designed just to make up a real alternative to the private: travel time, timetable, frequencies and, most of all -or as a consequence if you prefer -, reliability. The system must be flexible, adaptable to the changing demand very linked to skiing, tourism and shopping activities.
Finally, due to the lack of an adequate legal framework, a public participation process has been necessary; a process where all municipalities have been involved and called to participation, as well as operators, business associations, chambers of commerce, etc.
This coordination exercise, difficult indeed because of the fragile equilibrium derived from the political interests on stake among the different municipalities, turned out to be a very successful one, which allows to draw interesting and enlightening experiences for other countries.
Association for European Transport